Happy International Women’s Day!

Roxanne Shante (Lolita Shante Gooden) was fourteen when she recoded “Roxanne’s Revenge”, a song that “dissed” the popular group UTFO (Untouchable Force). UTFO had had a hit with their previously released “Roxanne Roxanne” which chronicled the failed attempts of the five memebers of the band to win the charms of a woman. Shante’s response, produced by the influential Marley Marl, launched what became known as the “Roxanne wars”, which was a series of spin-off singles, and even whole albums that commented upon and added additional insults to the original dispute. This process was complicated when UTFO hired their own rapper to released some singles under the name “The Real Roxanne” in an attempt to undermine Shante’s credibility. Known for her distinct voice and ability to come up with clever, original rhymes off the top of her head, Shante is one of the heroes of the early New York rap recording industry who, along with other legendary ladies like Spyder Dee and Dimples Dee, produced some of early hip hop’s most memorable and lyrically innovative tracks.

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